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‘Evolution of Farming’ tops Albert City Threshermen Show

By Staff | Aug 18, 2017

PART OF THE LURE of the Albert City Threshermen and Collector’s Show is the opportunity to step back in time to the days when agriculture was more labor intense. One of the new features of this year’s event was a presentation called, “Experience the Evolution,” a show that demonstrated the evolution of Case engines, tractors and implements as they worked side-by-side in the field before a large crowd of onlookers. See story for information about two unusual tractors featured at this year’s show, which showcased and celebrated the 175th anniversary of Case.

By KAREN SCHWALLER

kschwaller@evertek.net

ALBERT CITY-A record-breaking 18,796 people attended the Albert City Theshermen and Collector’s Show this year as organizers put together a tribute to the 175thanniversary of Case.

For the first time, two international Case collector clubs came together for a show and were joined by five regional clubs. Since they have existed, the wo collector clubs have never held a joint convention or show. The show featured 509 Case exhibits from collectors all around the nation.

“Our previous attendance record was in 2011 and was 16,100,” said Connie Reinert, who helps put the show together. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime event for Case enthusiasts, and was something they were not going to miss.”

Reinert said they had three people from England and two from Australia there specifically to see the Case show.

Reinert said with the number of Case exhibits there, it was the largest gathering of Case exhibits anywhere in the world.

“There has never before been a gathering of Case equipment of those numbers,” said Reinert. “We had nine Case steam engines, Case cars and the cross motors (including some from New York and Pennsylvania) and other one-of-a-kind pieces.”

New this year was a hands-on educational component that showed attendees how farming has evolved through the years. “Experience the Evolution” was considered a possible once-in-a-lifetime event, which demonstrated more than a century of farming technology and innovation by the Case company. It featured the evolution of Case engines, tractors and implements through the re-enactment of typical farm activities in the field – tillage, seeding, planting, cultivating, combining and chopping.

At one time, the pieces of equipment worked side-by-side in the field, depicting with clarity the evolution of farming technology from horses to today’s large machinery.

“Someone put on Facebook that it was a ‘brilliant illustration of progress,’ ” said Reinert. “Kids see QuadTracs in the fields today and don’t think anything of it, but our goal was to have the oldest and the newest equipment there in one place and have grandparents and grandkids seeing it together so they could have the conversation about how farming used to be done.”

One scene featured a Case 110 steam engine plowing in a field along with a Case 90 series and a new Case 620 QuadTrac, and all generations inbetween.

The event was filmed by Classic Tractor Fever by RFD-TV.

Two of the Case tractor exhibitors there were Darrel and Tracy Kleinjan of Volga, S.D. They brought two of their vintage tractors, including a 1930 Case GC Crawler and a 1930 Case CC with a cultivator.

Neither tractor (nor the cultivator) had any paint left on it them, but Kleinjan said he’s not interested in getting them painted.

“They would look a lot nicer, but it would but their value in half,” he said.

Kleinjan said there are three GC Case Crawlers known to be in existence, and his is the oldest of the three. One is in Kansas and the other is in Clarion. He said when the tractor was new it probably featured a cable or chain-drive loader or pipe layer, and it was used in places like rock quarries and gravel pits.

“They didn’t have loaders or dozers in those days – this was just the beginning of them,” he said.

He said the tractor was made by Case in Racine, Wis., the undercarriage was made by TracksonCompany in Milwaukee, Wis., and from what he’s been told, Kleinjan said Case bought the undercarriage from Tracksonand put them together.

Kleinjan said he has owned the tractor for 15 years and added it was only “scrap iron” at the time. He had some parts recast from other similar parts and put the tractor back together.

“I’ve always wanted one of these, and I chased this one for 15 years – it was always sold before I caught up with it,” he said, adding it was advertised in a Case newspaper.

“In the last four owners before me it doubled in price every time, even without any work done on it,” he said. “I have no idea what it’s worth-there hasn’t been a running one sold in 50 years at least.”

He said the tractor has the same engine and transmission as C or CC Case, but has tracks instead of wheels.

He has had much of the tractor fabricated to get it back to its original condition, including the hood, much of the engine, clutch pedal, radiator and gas tank. All of the steering linkage was missing, along with covers on the tracks where it gets greased. The tractor steers with brakes.

The CC Case with mounted cultivator is all completely original-including the cultivator. It has steel wheels front and back, steel wheel extensions on the back. The cultivator has the power lift for it with a chain that drives off the axle extension so the operator wouldn’t have to manually lift it when coming to the end of the field.

“The steering is the third version of the first generation steering, that was made on just the 1929 and 1930 CC Case tractors,” said Kleinjan, adding that there is a cast piece on the front end of the tractor that no other existing tractor has anymore, featuring a gear inside, which runs on gears on the outside of it-similar to rack & pinion steering.

“It goes fast-the gears are all way too fast for a steel-wheel tractor,” said Kleinjan.

The cultivator was the first tractor mounted cultivator made by Case. It has original fenders, axle extensions, wheel extensions, motor lift, steering, power take-off, etc.

“The tractor had a power-take-off and they probably had nothing to run with it,” said Kleinjan.

He purchased it 17 or 18 years ago on an auction.

“I just wanted something different,” he said. “If there’s another one within 100 miles, I don’t want it. Just a year or two before this, it would have been right behind a horse.”

Duane Kleinjan, father of Darrel Kleinjan, said the first tractor he ever drove (starting at the age of 5) was a 1937 CC that his grandfather had.

“These tractors have a lot of appeal to someone who remembers the history of them,” he said. “…they weren’t wonderful days, but they beat the hell out of four horses.”

Next year the Albert City Threshermen and Collector’s Show will host the National Ford-Fordson Collectors, featuring Ford tractors of all ages, and vintage Ford cars and trucks.

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